Yo, Adrian


Yo, Adrian

Who's to blame for the Red Sox awful start?

The debate will rage on until the Sox turn this thing around or the whole organization implodes leaving a giant hole in Kenmore Square. But the truth is that there's no clear cut answer. Well, unless your answer is: Everyone.

The owners for being delinquent jerks, the players for being overly entitled brats, Bobby V. for being unable to find a way to break down the wall between his own ego and the team. Everyone deserves a little bit of blame.

But here's one guy who's remained generally and undeservedly unscathed. A guy who could go a long way in helping turn around this mess. A guy who has a worse OPS than Mike Aviles, fewer RBI than Cody Ross and fewer doubles than Kelly Shoppach. A guy who also happens to be earning 21M this season and was supposed to be a threat for the Triple Crown.

Of course, I'm talking about Darnell MacDonald.

Nah, it's Adrian Gonzalez.

Obviously Gonzalez isn't entirely to blame for this fiasco. Not even close. But seeing how we can all agree that the only thing that will change this season around is for the Sox to actually start winning some games, then Gonzalez is a good candidate to lead the charge.

Since opening weekend in Detroit, AG has hit one home run, and that was in the eighth inning of an 18-3 loss to the Rangers. He has one game with more than one RBI, and on that night, two of his three RBI were knocked in during the ninth inning of a 7-3 loss to Toronto. He's been non-existent when it matters most. And that needs to change.

It's one of many things that will need to go right for the Sox to salvage this season, but it's a start.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Cassidy: Bruins 'have got to have a stronger mental capacity'

Cassidy: Bruins 'have got to have a stronger mental capacity'

BOSTON – While there were some warning signs over the last few weeks that the Bruins might be getting away from their game, it didn’t really hit home until Thursday night’s frustrating loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

The Bruins blew through three different one-goal leads in the second period in the 6-3 loss to the Bolts at TD Garden, and each time surrendered a tying goal to Tampa in less than two minutes after initially scoring. It was a clear indicator that the Bruins weren’t fully focused on the task at hand despite having already lost three games in a row, and that their ability to bounce back from adversity is going away from them again. 

That much was obvious when the bottom dropped out in the third period, and Jonathan Drouin and Nikita Kucherov turned into a two-man Lightning wrecking crew outscoring the Bruins by a 3-0 margin in the final 20 minutes. 

“I think the frustration is more in-game, where we’ve got to have a stronger mental capacity to handle those [challenging] situations in-game. Let’s face it, when you get on a bit of a losing streak, all those things creep in, whether it’s in October or whether it’s in March,” said Bruce Cassidy. “You have doubts, you start pressing, and again, it’s my job to alleviate the kind of attention in those situations.

“But, as I told you, we all have to be accountable and be responsible for ourselves, and that’s where we just need to have better focus and better discipline in those areas. It was there when it was 3-3 [on the scoreboard]. We’ve got to push back after they score, and that’s where I thought we started to come apart a little bit where we should’ve stuck together and stuck with the program. [We needed to] get ourselves slowly back into the game. We had 10 minutes to even the score, and we weren’t able to do it.”

Clearly this wasn’t just the coach alone in his pointed observations, however, as the lack of focus showed unfortunately in a rudderless second period for the Black and Gold where they couldn’t gain any separation from Tampa Bay despite scoring three goals. 

“[It’s] not being focused, not being sharp, and obviously at this time of the year it’s unacceptable, and it’s up on us to be better,” said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. “Those kinds of situations shouldn’t happen. So, for sure, we need to address those things and hold each other accountable.”

One thing is clear: The Bruins have a lot of work to do if they hope to avoid the same kind of late season tailspin that doomed them each of the last two seasons, and already seems to be happening over their last four losses to varying levels of hockey talent. 

Talking points: Tuukka Rask wasn't good enough vs. Lightning


Talking points: Tuukka Rask wasn't good enough vs. Lightning

Here are the talking points from the Boston Bruins' 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.